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纹身对人体免疫系统有什么影响

What tattoos really do to our bodies' immune systems
纹身对人体免疫系统有什么影响
1208字
2019-10-10 22:10
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火星译客

(CNN)I lay on the mat of the open-air bungalow in Apia, Samoa, looking up at a gecko. As its tail quivered, I felt a sympathetic twitch in my leg. Su'a Sulu'ape Paulo III, the sixth-generation Samoan hand-tap tattoo master leaning over me, paused to see if my movement was due to pain.

(CNN)我躺在萨摩亚首都阿皮亚露天平房的垫子上,抬头看着一只壁虎。它的尾巴抖动着,我感到同情,腿也抽搐了一下。保罗三世是第六代萨摩亚手工纹身大师,他俯身看着我,停了下来,想看看我是不是因为疼痛而抽搐了一下。

I'd been in Samoa for a month, studying Samoan tattooing culture and the impact of the big traditional pieces called pe'a and malu -- tatau in general -- on the immune system. Now I was getting my own hand-tapped leg tattoo, albeit considerably smaller.

我在萨摩亚呆了一个月,研究萨摩亚的纹身文化,以及大型传统纹身品pe'a和malu对免疫系统的影响。现在,我开始自己动手做腿上的纹身,虽然小了很多。

But one small study in the United States wasn't proof of anything -- despite headlines blaring that tattoos could cure the common cold. Good science means finding the same results multiple times and then interpreting them to understand something about the world.

在美国,一项小型研究并不能证明什么——尽管新闻头条大肆宣扬纹身可以治愈普通感冒。好的科学意味着多次发现相同的结果,然后解读它们来帮助理解这个世界的某些事情。

That's why I traveled in 2018 with fellow anthropologist Michaela Howells to the Samoan Islands. Samoans have a long, continuous history of extensive tattooing. Working with contemporary machine and hand-tap tattooists in American Samoa, we wanted to see if we'd find the same link to enhanced immune response.

这就是我在2018年与人类学家米凯拉·豪厄尔斯一起前往萨摩亚群岛的原因。萨摩亚人的纹身历史很悠久。与美属萨摩亚的现代机器和手工纹身师合作,我们想看看是否能发现增强免疫反应的相同联系。

Immune defenders rush to tattoo's tiny wounds

免疫系统的防御者会冲向纹身的小伤口

More than 30% of Americans are tattooed today. Yet, few studies have focused on the biological impact beyond risks of cancer or infection.

如今,超过30%的美国人有纹身。有很多关于纹身引发癌症或感染的影响,却很少有研究关注其生物影响。

Tattooing creates a permanent image by inserting ink into tiny punctures under the topmost layer of skin. Your body interprets a new tattoo as a wound and responds accordingly, in two general ways.

纹身是通过在皮肤表层下的小孔中插入墨水来产生永久性的图像。你的身体会将纹身当成为一个伤口,并以两种方式做出相应的反应。

Innate immune responses involve general reactions to foreign material. So getting a new tattoo triggers your immune system to send white blood cells called macrophages to eat invaders and sacrifice themselves to protect against infection.

先天免疫反应包括对外来物质的一般反应。因此,纹一个新纹身会刺激你的免疫系统释放一种叫做巨噬细胞的白细胞来吞噬入侵者,牺牲自己来抵御感染。

Your body also launches what immunologists call adaptive responses. Proteins in the blood will try to fight and disable specific invaders that they recognize as problems. There are several classes of these proteins -- called antibodies or immunoglobulins -- and they continue to circulate in the bloodstream, on the lookout lest that same invader is encountered again. They're at the ready to quickly launch an immune response the next time around.

你的身体也会产生免疫学家所说的适应性反应。血液中的蛋白质会试图对抗并作用于那些有问题的特定入侵者,使它们丧失功能。这些蛋白质有好几类——称为抗体或免疫球蛋白——它们继续在血液中循环,以防再次遇到相同的入侵者。他们已经准备好在下一次快速启动免疫反应。

This adaptive capacity of the immune system means that we could measure immunoglobulins in saliva as approximations of previous stress caused by tattooing.

免疫系统的这种适应能力意味着我们可以测量唾液中的免疫球蛋白并将其作为纹身造成压力的近似值。

In American Samoa, Howells and I worked at the Historic Preservation Office to recruit study participants with help from tattoo artists Joe Ioane of Off Da Rock Tattoos, Duffy Hudson of Tatau Manaia and traditional hand-tap tattooist Su'a Tupuola Uilisone Fitiao. Our sample of 25 tattoo recipients included both Samoans and tourists to the island.

在美萨摩亚,豪厄尔斯和我在历史保护办公室工作,在Off Da Rock的纹身艺术家乔·伊奥恩、塔图马纳亚的达菲·哈德森和传统的手工纹身师苏阿·图普奥拉·乌伊莱松·菲迪奥的帮助下招募研究参与者。25名纹身接受者样本包括萨摩亚人和岛上的游客。

We collected saliva at the start and end of each tattoo session, controlling for the tattoo duration. We also measured recipients' weight, height and fat density to account for health. From the saliva samples, we extracted the antibody immunoglobulin A, as well as the stress hormone cortisol and inflammatory marker C-reactive protein. Immunoglobulin A is considered a frontline immune defense and provides important protections against frequent pathogens like those of the common cold.

我们在每次纹身开始和结束时收集唾液,控制纹身持续的时间。考虑健康因素,我们还测量了接受者的体重、身高和脂肪密度。从唾液样本中,我们提取了抗体免疫球蛋白A,以及应激激素皮质醇和炎症标志物c反应蛋白。免疫球蛋白A被认为是一种一线的免疫防御,对常见的病原体如普通感冒提供重要的保护。

By comparing the levels of these biological markers, we determined that immunoglobulin A remains higher in the bloodstream even after tattoos heal. Furthermore, people with more time under the tattoo needle produced more salivary immunoglobulin A, suggesting an enhanced immune response to receiving a new tattoo compared to those with less or no tattoo experience. This effect appears to be dependent on receiving multiple tattoos, not just time passed since receiving one. This immune boost may be beneficial in the case of other skin injuries and for health in general.

通过比较这些生物标志物的水平,我们确定即使纹身愈合后,免疫球蛋白A在血液中的含量仍然较高。此外,在刺青针下停留时间越长的人,分泌的唾液免疫球蛋白A越多,这些表明与那些很少或没有刺青经历的人相比,新刺青会增强免疫反应。这种效果似乎取决于接受多重纹身的时间,而不仅仅是接受一个纹身后的时间。这种免疫增强可能对其他皮肤损伤和健康有益。

Tattooing seems to exert a priming effect: That's what biologists call it when naive immune cells are exposed to their specific antigen and differentiate into antibodies that remain in the bloodstream for many years. Each tattoo prepares the body to respond to the next.

纹身似乎能产生一种启动效应:生物学家将原始免疫细胞暴露在其特定抗原下,并将其分化为能在血液中存活多年的抗体,这就是纹身的作用。每一个纹身都是为了让身体对下一次免疫做出反应。

Other studies find that short-term stress benefits the immune system. Stress's bad rap comes from chronic forms that really do undermine immune response and health. But a little bit is actually good for you and prepares your body to fight off germs. Regular exercise provides immune function benefits through repetition, not necessarily single visits to the gym. We think this is similar to how each tattoo seems to prepare the body for vigilance.

其他研究发现,短期压力对免疫系统有益。压力的负面影响主要是因为其周期又长又慢,它确实会破坏免疫反应,影响健康。但有一点儿压力其实对你有好处,让你的身体做好抵御细菌的准备。有规律的锻炼可以增强免疫功能,而不是偶尔去一次健身房。我们认为这与纹身类似,每个纹身似乎是在准备为身体预警。

Our Samoan findings supported the results of my first study in Alabama. But of course correlation does not imply causation. Enhanced immune response is correlated with more tattoo experience, but maybe healthier people heal easily from tattooing and like to get them more. How could we find out if getting tattoos could actually make a person healthier?

对于萨摩亚人的研究证实了我在阿拉巴马州的第一项研究的结果。当然,相关性并不意味着因果关系。增强的免疫反应与更多的纹身经历有关,但也许更健康的人更容易在纹身后痊愈,也更喜欢纹身。我们怎么才能知道纹身是否真的能让一个人更健康呢?

'Tatau belongs to Samoa'

“纹身属于萨摩亚人”

Samoans have the oldest continuous tattoo culture in the Pacific Islands. Though many Samoans complain that young people are getting tatau for fashion, most get them to honor their heritage, saying their tattoo belongs not to them but to Samoan culture.

萨摩亚拥有太平洋岛屿上最古老的纹身文化。虽然许多萨摩亚人抱怨年轻人纹身是为了时尚,但大多数人纹身是要尊重自己的传统,说他们的纹身不属于自己,而是属于萨摩亚文化。

Samoans usually obtain permission from family to receive pe'a and malu. Getting and wearing these tattoos involve many responsibilities and indicate willingness to serve one's community.

萨摩亚人通常要得到家人的允许才能接受佩纳和马鲁。获得和佩戴这些纹身涉及许多责任,并表明愿意为其社区服务。

Several of the Samoans in our sample had little interest in getting other tattoos, and one even reported being afraid of needles. They get pe'a and malu for the importance of these tattoos to their cultural identity, not because they are fashionable ways to show off. The social expectations for Samoans mean that getting pe'a or malu is less about self-motivated fashion choices than getting a tattoo is in the U.S. This is why Samoa is a great place to investigate whether the immune bump we see after tattooing is due to healthier people going under the needle in the first place -- in Samoa people of all body types and walks of life get them, from priests to politicians.

在我们的调查中,有几个萨摩亚人对其他纹身没什么兴趣,甚至有一个人报告说害怕打针。他们得到佩纳和马鲁是因为这些纹身对他们的文化身份很重要,不是因为纹身是一种时尚的方式而去炫耀。萨摩亚人的社会期望意味着在美国,纹一个纹身很有可能是自我激励的时尚选择,选择佩纳和马鲁则不是。这就是为什么萨摩亚是一个绝佳的地方,可以研究纹身后我们看到的免疫肿块是否首先是由于更健康的人在针下扎针-在萨摩亚,各种身材的人和各行各业的人都可以纹身,从牧师到政治家。

In July 2019 I focused on collecting multiple biological samples from people getting intensive tattoos in Apia, where they are administered daily in the center of town. I collected around 50 saliva samples from a dozen participants that will be analyzed in the coming year by anthropological immunologist Michael Muehlenbein.

在2019年7月,我专注于从阿皮亚接受强烈纹身的人们那里收集多个生物样本,每天在镇中心对它们进行管理。 我从十几个参与者那里收集了大约50个唾液样本,这些样本将在明年被人类学免疫学家迈克尔·穆伦贝因分析。

An evolutionary take on tattoos

纹身的进化之路

Tattoos may provide visual evidence that others home in on to identify healthy mates or hardy friends. Such signals of fitness have been compared to peacock tail feathers, which would be too much of a burden if the peacock were not hale enough to escape predators.

纹身可能会提供视觉证据,表明他人在家中可以找到健康的伴侣或耐心的朋友。 此类健身信号像是孔雀尾羽毛一样,如果孔雀毛不够硬朗来逃避捕食者,那将是一个沉重的负担。

Even in the modern environment with improved health care, tattoos may "up the ante" by artificially injuring the body to demonstrate health. In a study I conducted among nearly 7,000 undergraduates, male intercollegiate athletes in general and football players in particular were more likely to be tattooed than nonathletes and less likely to suffer tattoo-related medical problems than those nonathletes who were tattooed.

即使在现代环境中,如果医疗保健得到改善,纹身可能会通过人为伤害身体以显示健康来“事前”。 在我对近7,000名大学生进行的一项研究中,男性普通大学生运动员,尤其是足球运动员比那些不运动的人更容易被纹身,与那些没有纹身的人相比,纹身相关的医疗问题更少。

The Conversation

It's not clear that the benefits tattooing provides are big enough to make a clinical difference on health, so don't expect a new tattoo to cancel out a diet of cheeseburgers and fries. But there is no doubt that tattooing is associated with toughness, and that we humans influence each other through impressions as much as reality.

目前尚不清楚纹身是否能带来足够的益处,从而在临床上改变健康状况,所以不要指望新的纹身能抵消起司汉堡和薯条的饮食。 但是毫无疑问,纹身与韧性有关,我们人类通过印象与现实相互影响。

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